Arctic Silver Instructions. I’ve been getting pretty hot temperatures on the new Athlon X2. When the two CPUs are running, I rapidly get to 70C and this causes thermal shutdown. These things should run about 50C at maximum according “AMD Forums”: particularly with a high quality heat sink like the gigantic XP-120 I’ve been using.
Well, I think I’ve found the answer. I’ve been putting way too much thermal grease on my heat sinks. The Arctic site has some great recommendations. This thermal grease should lower temperatures by 2-5C.
Here are the main points:
# You need to clean the surface of the chip with 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) with a lint free cloth like a coffee filter. If you previously had thermal grease they recommend some sort of specific remover. Even a hair or a piece of lint can hurt performance as can a fingerpinrt
# If you are using older Arctic Silver 1,2 or 3 there is a prep step, You then put a BB size drop of Arctic Silver and with your hand in a plastic bag, you rub the compound into the heatsink clockwise and cunterclockwise. This fill the microscopic holes in the heatsink. Now clean the surface off with another coffee filter but *without* any solvent. This ensures that the thermal compound fills the valleys
# Now for all versions of Arctic Silver, you put a small amount of Silver. For a Pentium 4, it is the size of an uncooked grain of short-grain wirte rice (1/2 a BB). For an Athlon 64, it is the size of 1 1/4 grains or 2/3 of a BB. !>!
# Mount the heatsink on top straight down and very slightly twist it by one or two degrees. *Do not remove the heatsink, otherwise you will introduce air bubbles and voids.”
One problem is that once you have a applied a thermal grease, it is impossible to revmoe all the pad and grease from the microscopic valleys so you must use the special ArctiClean 1 and ArctiClean 2.
If you don’t have these fancy cleaners, then you can use:
* On the heatsink, you can use isopropyl alcohol but it is impossible to remove the stuff completely, so hopefully you use ArcticSilver to start
* On the CPU top itself, you can use ArctiClean or any dish dtergent but not automatic dishwasher dtergent. Once the majority of the compound has been removed, you can use a soft pink erasor to get the rest off.
* If you do any of the above, then you should do the final cleaning with isopropyl alcohol.

One response to “Too much Thermal Grease”

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    Thermal Grease continued
    Tong Family Blog: Too much Thermal Grease. Well, it turns out that it wasn’t the thermal grease at all. The CPU fan just got knocked aside, so that is why temperatures went up to 65C. With the fan in properly, even at full bore, the machine never got a…

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